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Sep 23 2015

Circle of Concern/Circle of Influence

How to focus on what you can affect!


Why do we get upset at things that we are powerless to change? I see this a lot with Major League Sports. You watch young men that are “into” sports and they get excited, yelling and screaming at the players on TV. They yell at the Umpires, the coaches and even the announcers. If their team loses, they are depressed and if they win, they are elated.

The question I ask, does all that energy, yelling, feeling, emotion ever cause any difference in the outcome? Obviously, not.

See, your “circle of concern” is the accumulation of all of those things that you care about, all of the things that upset and get you going. It could be your favorite team, it could be politics, it could be the guy that just cut you off in traffic, it could be the President of the company you work for, but there is one problem with getting all worked up about these situations, you can’t do anything about it.

Your “Circle of Influence” is the accumulation of all of those things that you can “influence” or change. If you are a typical young man (or even an old one, like me) you have a much, much, much smaller circle of influence than your circle of concern.

Out of the 6+Billion people in the world, you can really only have an effect on one, yourself. You can’t get the Redskins to win, you can’t solve the tax issues or make everyone around you drive the way you think they should…. All of that is way out of your circle of influence.

What is in your circle of Influence? Well, that’s easy; yourself. You can affect the way you respond to life. You can affect when you get up in the morning, you can affect whether you are cheerful or not….. There are so many things that you can affect but you choose not to notice those in favor of the things that you can’t have any effect on, that’s crazy.

Look at yourself in the mirror and tell yourself that you are the ONLY person you can affect. Look at yourself and come to the conclusion that today, you will make yourself the person you want to be. Stop blaming others; stop being so concerned over stuff you can do nothing about. Start looking at yourself and tell yourself, honestly, that you have created the person you are today. Not your parents, not your financial situation, not the society you are in, not the educational system. No, that person that you see in the mirror is the person you have made.

What is great about this is that now that you admit it, you can change. You can decide how you are going to react to the next person that cuts you off or that doesn’t do what you expect. You can decide to react in a good and kind way. You can change you!

Think about all of the things that upset you, how many of them are truly under your control? Not many. So, start making your circle of concern closer to the size of your circle of influence. Stop spending your time, emotions and energy on stuff that you can’t change and start using that energy to make yourself the person you want to be.

Get real with yourself, stop blaming others for who you are and become who you want to be!


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